Toughing it out in Monte Carlo

After a very picturesque descent onto the narrow seaside runway at Nice Airport, Andrea and I felt like rock stars as we made our way to our helicopter check in. Anupa and Takis had kindly given us their free passes from a previous trip so we took to the skies to glide into Monte Carlo in fitting style. The weather was beautiful and the sight of this famous city coming into view was truly out of this world.

Never having been to Monaco before, I was dazzled by its movie star looks. Having a quick half an hour to walk around before we got down to work, we walked through the immaculate streets marvelling at the iconic buildings around us as well as the plethora of designer boutiques – if only!

The majority of Principal staff stayed at the famous Hermitage Hotel – a gorgeous luxury hotel oozing with character and class. Having had a glance at a couple of the rooms, I was impressed by the individual character in each, and especially by the views from Andrea’s Juliette balcony.

The Fairmont Hotel provided the accommodation and conference facilities for our client’s group, and the functional conference rooms on the ground floor were completely in contrast to the roof terrace pool and bar, the Billionaire Sunset Lounge. By day a stylish pool to lounge by and be seen at, by night the space turns into a up-lit bar pumping out house music to Monaco’s movers and shakers, definitely at odds with the serious conference content happening earlier floors below!

Our client’s event ran really smoothly, thanks in large part to the stunning locations for the events. One evening they were treated to a sumptuous alfresco drinks reception and buffet at Le Deck, a swimming pool club, just set back from Monte Carlo beach. Stilt walkers, a fire artist and roving band entertained the guests, and luckily everyone successfully managed to avoid falling into the huge pool.

The Gala Dinner was held at Le Sporting – a truly breathtaking venue that once played host to Mariah Carey. The piece de resistance of the evening was the retractable roof that opened up while the group were enjoying their starters, so that 800 people sat dining under the stars, before putting on their dancing shoes to tear up the dance floor to Principal’s favourite band – Madhen.

After a whirlwind four days onsite, it was easy to come to the conclusion that Monaco is decadent, beautiful and luxurious, and provides a dazzling backdrop to any event.


– Sophie Sweetman



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